Fall 2020 Return to Competition: Volleyball

This should be considered as providing recommendations from the IGHSAU for member schools and may be updated before and during the fall 2020 season.

General Guidelines

  • Schools are asked to read a Public Address Announcement at the start of each match to encourage social distancing (arm test) and to remind spectators to do their part in keeping their student-athletes on the court.
  • People (players, coaches, officials, spectators, etc.) feeling sick or that have been exposed to someone sick, should not attend or participate in competitions or practices.
  • The IGHSAU strongly encourages all participants and spectators to practice social distancing and to wear face coverings whenever possible.

Pre-Match Procedures

  • Attendees for the coin toss is limited to one coach from each team, one captain from each team, first referee and second referee.  All six individuals must maintain a social distance of 3 to 6 feet. Face coverings are strongly encouraged to be worn by all pre-match conference attendees.
  • Rosters are to be submitted directly to the officials’ table before the 10-minute mark. Roster submission at the pre-match conference is suspended indefinitely. 
  • Teams are required to bring their own volleyballs to use for warm-ups for away matches. (Volleyballs must be marked to help with identification purposes when traveling with volleyballs.)
  • Teams are not allowed to warm-up outside of the court near their opponents while their opponents have the court for the 6-minute portion of the 5-6-6 warm-up protocol, UNLESS there is another court area for them to utilize.  It is permissible for teams to share the court for the 5-minute ball handling portion of warm-up as teams will be socially distanced by the net. 

During Matches

  • Eliminate spectator seating in the first two rows if possible.
  • Avoid playing matches simultaneously on side-by-side courts if possible.
  • Pre- and postgame handshakes between teams are prohibited. Teams should acknowledge their opponents with a wave, bow, etc. after introductions and/or after the match. 
  • Teams are not to switch benches between sets. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present. 
  • Bench personnel should observe social distancing as much as possible. Coaches, players and other bench personnel are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while on the bench.
  • All players are allowed to stand near the bench area (not just those in the active rotation) to help with social distancing if needed.
  • All players must sanitize their hands before and after warm-ups, at all timeouts, between sets and anytime they leave the playing court. Coaches are strongly encouraged to sanitize their hands as often as possible as well. 
  • Host schools must have at least three volleyballs to use for the in-game ball rotation to allow for volleyballs to be sanitized while not in use. The host school will be responsible for sanitization of the in-game volleyballs in the rotation. Volleyballs should be removed from play and sanitized frequently and any time a volleyball is touched by a spectator.
  • Players and coaches should practice social distancing of 3 to 6 feet when addressing the second referee and during substitutions.  Players are encouraged to utilize the substitution zone closer to the attack line rather than nearer the net for social distancing purposes between players and the second referee.
  • Attendees for the deciding coin toss are limited to one coach and one captain from each team, first referee and second referee.  All individuals must maintain a social distance of 3 to 6 feet. Face coverings are strongly encouraged to be worn by all deciding set coin toss attendees.
  • Teams are not to switch benches before a deciding set. In the event there is a clear and distinct disadvantage, teams may switch sides, observing all social distancing protocols. Officials will determine if a disadvantage is present.

Officials' Table

  • Scorebench personnel should be limited to essential personnel, which includes home team scorer, libero tracker and timer with a recommended distance of 3 to 6 feet between individuals. Visiting team personnel (scorer, statisticians, etc.) are not deemed essential personnel and should find an alternative location. Scorebench personnel are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.

Player Equipment & Uniform

  • Cloth face coverings are permissible. 
  • Gloves are permissible. 
  • Long sleeves are permissible. 
  • Long pants are permissible. 
  • Under garments are permissible, but must be unadorned and of a single, solid color similar in color to the predominant color of the uniform top or bottom.

Officials Equipment & Uniform

  • Long-sleeved, all-white collared polo shirt/sweater are permissible.
  • Electronic whistles are permissible. If using an electronic whistle, it must be communicated to players and coaches at the pre-match conference.
  • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
  • Gloves are permissible.

General Considerations for Volleyball

The following are additional considerations for coaches, student-athletes, officials, parents, and administrators.

Considerations for Coaches

  • Communicate your guidelines in a clear manner to students and parents.
  • Consider conducting workouts in “pods” of same students always training and rotating together in practice to ensure more limited exposure if someone develops an infection.
  • Keep accurate records of those athletes and staff who attend each practice in case contact tracing is needed.
  • Team Gatherings at Tournaments – Social distancing from other teams is strongly recommended. This would be a good reminder for parents as well.

Considerations for Student-Athletes

  • Consider making each student responsible for their own supplies (water bottle, hand sanitizer, face covering, towel, etc.)
  • Students should wear their own appropriate workout clothing (do not share clothing), and individual clothing/towels should be washed and cleaned after every workout immediately upon returning home. 
  • Hand sanitizer should be plentiful at all contests and practices.
  • Athletes should tell coaches immediately when they are not feeling well.
  • Cloth face coverings are permissible.
  • Bring your own water bottle.

Considerations for Officials

  • Take your temperature prior to attending your competition. If temperature is above 100.4 you should notify your contracted school immediately.
  • If you do not feel well and COVID-19 symptoms are present, notify your contracted school and assigner immediately and stay home.
  • Bring personal hand sanitizer. Wash/sanitize hands upon arrival and frequently throughout your time working the contest(s).
  • Do not share equipment.
  • Follow social distancing guidelines during pre- and post-match conferences and during contests.
  • Consider using electronic whistle.
  • Do not shake hands or fist bump other officials, players or coaches.
  • Officials may wear face coverings at all times.
  • Officials are NOT responsible for monitoring activities on the sidelines, such as social distancing, hand sanitizing, symptoms of illness and other such issues. This monitoring remains with the coaching staff and school personnel.

Considerations for Parents

  • Provide personal items for your child and clearly label them.
  • The use of cloth face coverings is strongly encouraged.  In addition, social distancing is strongly encouraged as much as possible for non-participants, parents, coaches, officials, and other event volunteers.

Considerations for Administration

  • Encourage social distancing when teams/spectators gather off the court before and after matches (ex: tournament gathering locations…lunchrooms, commons areas, etc.)
  • Avoid playing matches simultaneously on side-by-side courts if possible.
  • Facility Sanitization – Consideration should be given to which facilities are going to need sanitization, how often will sanitization be needed, who will be doing the sanitizing.
  • Awards Ceremonies – Consideration for options that would allow social distancing for the athletes, coaches, and spectators – consider other alternatives such as not having awards ceremonies, strongly recommending the use of cloth face coverings for any individuals attending the awards ceremonies if there are alternative options.
  • Postseason – Potential options may be considered regarding the Regional and State Tournament matches depending upon the status of Covid-19.
  • Locker rooms may be utilized however the Department of Public Health guidelines must be adhered to.
  • Admission may be taken using sanitization practices or a free-will donation container is an option as well.
  • For additional COVID-19 guidance, please contact the Iowa Department of Public Health at (515) 281-7689 or visit their website at idph.iowa.gov.